April Fools' Day: A Prank of Epic Proportions

by Matthew Russell - Posted 2 weeks ago

Welcome my CryptoComics Compatriots. I was racking my brain, trying to think of another good April Fools prank. Last year we announced that Frey was leaving us to teach at Full Sail University and that the illustrious Chad Hardin was taking his place. You can read the entire thing here: Good Bye My Friend.

He started getting calls and comments about how sad people were that he was leaving, even after you put the badge code in and your badge was a giant April Fools. So instead of pulling another prank, I wanted to talk about the absolutely greatest prank that any comic publisher has ever  pulled.

The Great Comics Switcheroonie (1997)

This is one that we have covered in the past, but it’s just too good to leave off this list. In 1997, comic strip creators Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott orchestrated a massive April Fools' Day prank that would go down in comic history as "The Great Comics Switcheroonie."

A Day of Comic Chaos

In the annals of comic book history, April 1, 1997, stands out as a day of unprecedented pranksterism. On this day, a group of daring comic strip artists orchestrated a massive April Fools' Day hoax that would come to be known as "The Great Comics Switcheroonie."

Without informing their editors or readers, these mischievous creators secretly switched their strips for the day, resulting in a hilarious jumble of familiar characters and art styles. Readers were left bewildered and amused as they encountered Beetle Bailey drawn by the Peanuts artist, and Blondie and Dagwood drawn by the artist of The Far Side.

The mastermind behind this elaborate prank was none other than Rick Kirkman, the creator of the comic strip "Baby Blues." Kirkman, along with his friend and fellow cartoonist Jerry Scott, had been planning the Switcheroonie for months, meticulously coordinating with participating artists and ensuring that their editors remained blissfully unaware.

As the day dawned, newspapers across the country opened to reveal a world of comic strip chaos. Readers were treated to a bizarre array of mismatched characters and art styles, with Peanuts characters engaging in Baby Blues-style antics, and Blondie and Dagwood indulging in the slapstick humor of The Far Side.

The reaction to the Switcheroonie was immediate and widespread. Readers were initially confused and disoriented, but as the realization dawned upon them that they were witnessing a masterfully executed prank, their bewilderment gave way to amusement and delight.

Phone lines at newspapers lit up as readers eagerly called in to inquire about the sudden change in their favorite comic strips. Social media, which did not yet exist in 1997, would have undoubtedly exploded with chatter and memes had it been available.

The Switcheroonie was not just a prank; it was a celebration of creativity, camaraderie, and the unique bond between comic strip artists and their readers. It was a reminder that even in the world of serious storytelling, there's always room for a little lighthearted fun.

The Great Comics Switcheroonie remains one of the most memorable April Fools' Day pranks in comic book history. It was a day when the rules were broken, expectations were defied, and readers were left with smiles on their faces and a renewed appreciation for the power of laughter.